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Fleeing the scene of a car accident involving potential injuries is illegal in every state across the country. Leaving the scene of a fatal accident is even more serious and can lead to felony criminal charges being filed against the driver of the vehicle. In a recent upstate New York accident, a man has been accused of leaving the scene of an accident that has killed one man and injured another.

Police allege that the accident occurred around 11 p.m. when two pedestrians were crossing the road. While they were in the road, a vehicle said to have been driven by a 29-year-old man is believed to have run a red light and struck the two men. One of the pedestrians was transported to a local hospital where one was pronounced dead. The condition of the other pedestrian has not been disclosed at this time.

The driver of the car is being held in jail on the felony charge of fleeing the scene of a fatal accident. It is unclear at this time what evidence led the police to arrest the man. It has also not been disclosed when the man is expected to answer to the criminal charges or if other charges will be filed against him.

It is common in New York for a defendant to face both criminal and civil allegations when evidence indicates they left the scene of a fatal accident. Although the civil case is not dependent on the outcome of the criminal case, the civil case may be able to benefit from the information documented in the criminal case in order to prove negligence. Although there is no sum of money that can fully compensate an injured victim or the family of a deceased victim for the damages incurred, a successful claim may help confront the wide array of expenses that typically result from these tragedies. If the driver is criminally convicted, evidence of the verdict may be offered in a related civil action in support of pending liability claims.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Upstate NY motorist charged after fatal accident,” Sept. 17, 2012